• Candice Forte

Review: My Father's World

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

My Father's World holds a special place in my heart. We used it with C until 3rd grade. We chose it because it was a complete homeschool curriculum. We started 3rd and had things going on in life that made it a good time to switch it up a bit, so we never got to do Exploring Countries and Cultures. However, we always really liked My Father's World and it was really awesome to get to use it again!

My Father's World 1st Grade - Learning God's Story was sent to us, in its entirety to review.

The following are the items in the COMPLETE curriculum package:

  1. Learning God's Story Teacher's Manual

  2. Student Sheets for Learning God's Story

  3. Bible Notebook for Learning God's Story

  4. Bible Reader for Learning God's Story

  5. Geared Student Clock

  6. Horizontal Addition and Subtraction Flashcard Set

  7. My Big Book of 5-Minute Devotions

  8. Pattern Animals: Puzzles for Pattern Blocks

  9. Science with Plants

  10. Science with Water

  11. Student Workbook for Learning God's Story

  12. The Complete Book of Math Grades 1 - 2

  13. Things Outdoors

  14. Unifix Cubes - 100

  15. Wooden Pattern Blocks

  16. Drawing with Children

  17. Enjoying Art Together

  18. Eric Carle's Animals Animals

  19. Honey for a Child's Heart

  20. Peter and the Wolf CD

  21. Tales from Cherry Lane

As I said above, what is absolutely wonderful about this curriculum for first time homeschoolers, especially, is that it is everything you need in one box. I will address all of these items in order and describe our experience with each and then summarize our My Father's World experience below.

Learning God's Story Teacher's Manual

The teacher's manual is so easy to use! It comes with a daily and weekly schedule to follow. This is so perfect for knowing how to separate out the amount of work per day so that you complete the amount of days required by your state. What a blessing that the work is already planned out for you! When we have used other curricula often I have to go through and really think through how many days a week we need to do each piece in order to keep pace to finish in the amount of time I want to finish. Not so, here!

The second wonderful thing about this teacher's manual is the amount of scripted material within. It doesn't just give you general topics to cover and expect you to figure out how to deliver the information to your student(s). It actually has scripts in there. While sometimes my kids feel a little patronized over scripts because it doesn't "sound like me" I have learned to modify it a little, but it helps me start the conversations. This is a huge help to me personally!

Student Sheets for Learning God's Story

These are loose sheets and some are regular paper and others are card stock. They are meant to be consumable, so you need a set of them for each student. The copyright states no copying on these. These are so fun! They have all the projects like making your own ABC scroll and books, etc, as you learn phonics! Fun! Below is a photo of a book we made.

Bible Notebook for Learning God's Story

The notebook, which is consumable, we did not get to use in the first 7 weeks. Since we did this curriculum with C as well, I can tell you that I LOVE the notebook! It is used for copywork and illustration of Bible stories and will be the PERFECT keepsake from 1st grade for your student. I believe we still have C's in his closet packed away for when he is an adult. What I especially appreciate with this updated version is the fact that it has a hard back cover. It is spiral bound and I recall the old version having some stability issues and also not being able to sit on the couch and draw/write. Even though that is not proper for penmanship we sometimes enjoy working in a cozy setting and that hard back is just awesome! The Bible reading below is an example of one of the stories the student would illustrate in the Bible Notebook.

Bible Reader for Learning God's Story

This reader is precious! Make sure you do the reading games they suggest to keep skills sharp! I don't remember doing the games (or them being there) and perhaps this is why C was very good at reading during lessons, but not as much outside of the lessons. The reader gave him trouble. However, since I had already taught him and kind of knew the ropes a little more I have been going over many phonetic things with K before we even started this. Though we didn't get to the reader in the first 7 weeks (I think it also starts on week 12), I had her read the first several pages of the reader and she needed almost no help. I have no doubt she would be successful with the program as is, without me having already been working with some phonetic things with her, though. Particularly with the addition of the reading games. The best improvement since C did this, just like the Notebook, is the addition of a hard back cover. The old spiral bound version of this with floppy back got beaten up easily. This seems far more durable and also easy to hold since it is rigid! Here are a few photos of the reader.

Geared Student Clock

These student clocks are wonderful and I am glad it is part of this set! K is already fairly proficient at clock reading, but she has enjoyed playing with it and telling me the time with it. It should be part of math for 1st grade, for certain!

Horizontal Addition and Subtraction Flashcard Set

These cards are great! I love that they are horizontal. Students need to see equations vertically and horizontally. This gives the opportunity for the latter. They are printed with the answer very lightly on the back, so you don't have to keep turning it over to see what the problem is. Potentially, with a very driven student, you could even have them go through them with self-correction.

My Big Book of 5-Minute Devotions

This book is absolutely precious! Both of our kids have loved it. It has Biblical truth (with heart-probing questions) and Biology in it. The devotions are very short, but informative with life application. It's just fun!

Pattern Animals: Puzzles for Pattern Blocks

These are so fun! Manipulatives are also important in 1st grade and these don't disappoint! There is an animal to build from each letter of the alphabet and activities to use for building the patterns to help solidify many math concepts! These are always enjoyable and a good hands-on way to learn math!

Science with Plants & Science with Water

These are great, age-appropriate science experiments/activities. A little bit of preparation is required, but the lovely thing is there is always a materials list for every week to help you plan. That is one of many things about this curriculum that make it a great tool for homeschooling!

Student Workbook for Learning God's Story

This is where the phonics learning happens. I do like that they show symbols for short/long sounds of vowels. It helps see these things and visually explain them. I like that they have a listening drill every day to differentiate sounds. This is another consumable product so you'd need one for each student.

The Complete Book of Math Grades 1 - 2

This is a fun activity book of math learning. It covers a variety of different math concepts. It is on the gentle side. This was really great for C. I would recommend it with many children. If your child is above this, you can always use another curriculum, but this is fun and a great tool for building or reinforcing scientific knowledge. K had covered a lot of this in Kindergarten, but she really found it to be fun!

Things Outdoors

This is another Usborne science book. It is very informative and visually busy and stimulating like many Usborne books.

Unifix Cubes - 100 We used these ALL year in Kindergarten and I cannot recommend them enough for mathematical learning. K still uses them from time to time with a few of the tough addition and subtraction problems she has not memorized yet. They can be used for so many math activities and there is even a booklet inside to do some activities.

Wooden Pattern Blocks This is used with the animal pattern book. These are fun to play with, alongside that book or otherwise! We really love these. You can even use them for fractions, geometry, the list is endless! We love manipulative for math in the early years!

Drawing with Children

I looked, but haven't found C's drawings from this book, but I know we have them somewhere around here. He still remembers the lion drawing from this book. It is excellent for early elementary instruction in art. What I really love is I feel it may be a bit of a challenge to sift through all of the information in the book to get to the "meat" of drawing and the lessons. Fortunately, My Father's World has you covered there. The projects are written into the lesson plans on the weekly grids they provide you with. I had fun doing these projects with K.

Enjoying Art Together

I remember these paintings from when C did this curriculum but I cannot remember if they were as high quality. The print quality is excellent and the card stock will stand the test of time with minimal care. We didn't get to the point in the curriculum to start these, but we looked at a few together and K enjoyed them a lot!

Eric Carle's Animals Animals This book is so fun! Beautiful Eric Carle art and a ton of poetry. K LOVES it just like the devotions. This is the "fun" part of school for her. Both of our children love to be read aloud to. There are also art projects in the lesson plans for these, which are really enjoyable!

Honey for a Child's Heart There are maybe 3 books I used like this one, but this is one of my very favorite! You may see a few posts on this blog from the past that highlight read-alouds we love! This book is how we came across many of our favorite read-aloud books! I need to go through it again for reading to K as C was very sensitive to some materials (he is finally outgrowing it) and she is less sensitive. This book was before the advent of Read Aloud Revival, but I bet Sarah McKenzie is well aware of this book! It's an excellent resource!

Peter and the Wolf CD This is a really good rendition of Peter and the Wolf. C wasn't a huge fan of Peter and the Wolf due to his highly sensitive nature, but K enjoys it! We didn't get to do this during this 7 week period, but we are quite familiar with it!

Tales from Cherry Lane

This was the only really new thing that I had no experience with when I did Learning God's Story with C. It goes through the 10 commandments with a story for each of them demonstrating the concepts and then it goes through the fruits of the spirit in a similar fashion! What a lovely resource! The lesson plans didn't call for it, but we read a few and thought they were nicely done. Very age appropriate and not so long as to usher in boredom.

Other things to love about My Father's World? Aside from the information above, there are many delightful things about My Father's World.

  • The hands-on projects are the best and most meaningful I have come across. C STILL remembers many of these from all those years ago!

  • The curriculum has a lot of focus on world missions. By 3rd grade (and sometimes second, depending on if it's your first student) your child will be learning about missionary heroes! The Biblical information is not taught from any one specific perspective. This could be a plus or minus for you depending on what you are looking for. That said Bible is the core of the curriculum. This goes beyond learning to read with Learning God's Story. It continues throughout the ages and cycles!

  • It is a combination of Charlotte Mason, Classical, and Unit studies making it a very unique program by blending 3 of the most popular learning philosophies! It literally takes the best from all 3 and melds them well!

  • It is complete prior to 2nd and only math, language arts, and an optional foreign language would need to be added after 1st grade. The flexibility of adding whatever math and language arts you'd like after 1st is nice! It is near complete after 1st, though, with just those few things added and the weekly grid to keep you on target!

  • Teaching ALL of your children at the same time! What? Yes! This didn't work out well for us because of the age gap in our children, but if you have many kids, once they get into 2nd grade, you would put them in the cycle of learning with their older siblings. Math and Language Arts would still be separate, of course, but the contents of geography, bible, history, etc would all be taught together with varying activities based on their level beyond that. It really works very well, I am told! What a relief to not be teaching 4 things to 4 kids every year!

  • Another really wonderful thing? Their customer service is absolutely amazing! They helped answer all of my questions, were knowledgeable, and personable! I had a consultation prior to them sending our materials and it was very in depth. It was not hurried or brusque. It was very warm and helpful! If you aren't sure where your student is in math/language arts or how to translate that into their curriculum, they will give you excellent guidance!

  • Beyond that even? There is opportunity for community with My Father's World. They do have Synergy Groups™ that meet to do activities together weekly! You would need to check and see if your area has one, or find a buddy and make one!

To see more reviews on My Father's World and a whole more go to the Homeschool Review Crew site or click the banner!